The best sprinters in the country will compete in Everest (1200 m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday with a remarkable prize money of 15 million US dollars.
Nature Strip is the fastest horse in the race and should start the race. All eyes are on Barrier 5 to see him jump. Dollar for dollar is pushed up from the inside, while Nature Brips stablemate Haut Brion Her can take a lead. Eduardo will also be faster from Barrier 9.
The riders on Gytrash and Bivouac will likely try to get some cover out of the pace. Libertini needs a bit of luck from Barrier 12 in the meantime, unless they decide to ride the mare conservatively.
The race is scheduled to take place at 4.15 p.m. (AEDT).
VIEW A FULL ODDS COMPARISON AT PUNTERS.COM.AU
1. NATURAL STRIPE
Forrest Gump could have been talking about Nature Strip when he said you never know what you’re going to get. His best thing is that he’s the country’s champion racehorse, but he’s also prone to shock. He has been beaten in this preparation in both of his races so far. He was no match for Gytrash in the Concorde and continued his first blues. He then had a problem with the exams when he ditched JMac before finishing the placements in the premiere. He used to do a section under 10 in the race, but I’m not convinced that was responsible for his disappointing run. A post-race vet exam that found mucus may have been more informative. He finished fourth in that race last year and, given the record time for the race, was beaten just 1.3L in a brave front running effort.
TAB chances of winning: 4.2
The Godolphin gelding, who ran for Max Whitby, finished third in the race last year and there is a strong case that he can repeat that feat. In winter Trekking was able to get Gytrash out of the way in the G1 Goodwood. He returned in the 1000m Moir Stakes, chasing Pippie home in second place. Josh Parr has been on board a number of times, including Everest last year. The dry stretch is certainly a tick for him.
TAB odds: 11
3. CLASSIC LEGEND
A move to Hong Kong failed earlier this year, but could lead to an Everest triumph. He had to return for a single run in the winter because of the long break after missing the fall and put up a lot of weight to win at Listed level on a wet track. While the trick out of the ground suits Classique Legend, it is quite capable on a good surface, as it has shown in both of its runs in this campaign. He came home in 11.23 for the final 200m in The Shorts (fastest section with 0.36) when he took a 1 liter win over Eduardo. He had to settle for second place in the Premiere Stakes behind Libertini but lost no admirers after running three times in a performance that showed he was on the right track.
TAB odds: 4.8
4. SANTA ANA LANE
The five-time Group One winner is back on his third crack on Everest after finishing second last year. Is the eight-year-old walking as well as it was 12 months ago? That’s the worry. Santa Ana Lane had an indifferent fall and failed to win in four starts. He finished second after Nature Strip in the TJ, but was sixth again in his other three starts. This trend continued first in Gilgai, finishing sixth ahead of Zoutori. He needs this first run a lot so there is certainly room for improvement here, but not convinced that he can recapture his best.
TAB odds: 21
The big boy smashed the door to an Everest square with his accomplishments in Melbourne, beating both the G1 Memsie and Sir Rupert Clarke. The shape from the memsie has developed pretty well. Runner-up Mr Quickie won the Toorak last week while third-placed Glenfiddich won the Stutt Stakes on his later start. Behemoth finished fourth behind Everest competitors Trekking and Gytrash (and ran past Sana Ana Lane) at Goodwood earlier in the year, where he had to run after a slow escape from the rear of the field. He will be strong late after a few runs over 1400 m and will start the race in hot form.
TAB odds: 9
Godolphin named Bivouac a likely Everest contender earlier this year for his impressive Newmarket win, where he easily handled some of the runners he meets here. In three consecutive starts in the fall, however, he could not win. He continued with a good performance at The Shorts where he was caught very far after jumping off the outside barrier but held up well for third place. He has been back in the exams since then and should improve second in terms of fitness. A touch awkwardly pulled, but with luck he might sit behind the leaders.
TAB odds: 15
The SA sprinter was blocked early for The Everest, so that Gordon Richards could tailor the spring campaign to Saturday. He’s turned into a true A-grader in the past 12 months and won the lightning while going to Trekking in the Goodwood with a nose. Gytrash was able to continue his consistency at the highest level, which meant that he only missed a place once in his 20 career starts. He should be able to find a good spot on Barrier 7 just behind the leaders. It’s hard to find any bumps on him.
TAB odds: 6
The 7YO got lost in a couple of runs in Melbourne earlier this year where there was a steady transition. Eduardo landed in Sydney with Joe Pride. Eduardo didn’t do anything wrong during his time in Sydney and took up every challenge. He beat Roheryn first before beating the 1.5L G2 Missile Stakes where he defeated Flit (who beat the Silver Eagle last week). He’s been up a long time but was only ridden lightly in the spring and his trial over the last week has shown that he’s still going well. A little rain would have increased his chances, but he is not without hope of a top four result.
TAB odds: 21
9. DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR
He got the late call to replace Farnan in the Aquis slot. It’s hard to imagine that dollar for dollar will win as his odds suggest, but his most recent form suggests he can at least perform competitively. He was 1 liter ahead of Behemoth at Sir Rupert Clarke, although he was better off at those weights 3.5 kg before finishing a nose ahead of Zoutori at Gilgai, followed by Tofane and Santa Ana Lane.
TAB odds: 51
A Group 1 winner that fall when he beat Pierata in the 1400m All Aged. She had two runs in that campaign and finished third in the Bobbie Lewis ahead of Zoutori before being a little unlucky behind a wall of horses on the run to the line in Gilgai. Tofane probably didn’t check off her qualifications at this 1200m level, with only one G3 win for her name, but she put in a solid run for fifth in the TJ this fall. She will likely come a long way at the draw.
TAB odds: 21
She had a huge boom during her 3YO season, taking out the Furious Stakes as a favorite of $ 1.18. Liberitini didn’t quite continue this spring, despite being third behind Exceedance and Bivouac at the Coolmore. She couldn’t shoot in two runs in the fall as the campaign was canceled after Newmarket. She showed up in the spring premiere after two impressive exams and came back with a bang. She defeated Classique Legend with a 2L and became hot property for an Everest mooring. Unfortunately, she didn’t do a favor here in the draw. She was able to get behind the leaders in the premiere, but she’ll need some luck from the outside goal early on.
TAB odds: 10
12. HAUT BRION HER
Late pick for the race, but certainly capable of reaching midfield. Her first win at the G2 Sheraco was sensational, reflecting some hot early sections as she crossed from a broad draw, but still had enough in the tank to hold the field by 0.8L. The overall time for the Sheraco, however, was significantly slower than Rothfire’s win on the day of the Run to the Rose. Real excuses for her last start when she had another mountain of work to do from a wide gate. Haut Brion has to make the jump from the G2 mares class to the top sprinters, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if she was competitive in speed.
TAB odds: 34
This article originally appeared on punters.com.au and has been reproduced with permission
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